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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2375        FILED ON: 1/20/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 2359


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



Bradley H. Jones, Jr.


To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relative to prescription drug waste.






Bradley H. Jones, Jr.

20th Middlesex

Donald F. Humason, Jr.

4th Hampden

Randy Hunt

5th Barnstable

Marc T. Lombardo

22nd Middlesex

Geoff Diehl

7th Plymouth

F. Jay Barrows

1st Bristol

Shaunna O'Connell

3rd Bristol

Susan Williams Gifford

2nd Plymouth

George T. Ross

2nd Bristol

Donald H. Wong

9th Essex

Todd M. Smola

1st Hampden

Kevin J. Kuros

8th Worcester

Ryan C. Fattman

18th Worcester

Sheila C. Harrington

1st Middlesex

Kimberly N. Ferguson

1st Worcester

Matthew A. Beaton

11th Worcester

Steven L. Levy

4th Middlesex

Bruce E. Tarr


Paul K. Frost

7th Worcester

Elizabeth A. Poirier

14th Bristol

George N. Peterson, Jr.

9th Worcester

Bradford Hill

4th Essex

Viriato Manuel deMacedo

1st Plymouth

Jeffrey Sánchez

15th Suffolk

HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2375        FILED ON: 1/20/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 2359

By Mr. Jones of North Reading, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 2359) of Bradley H. Jones, Jr., and others relative to the Commissioner of Public Health being directed to establish regulations for  the return of certain unused prescription medications to pharmacies.  Public Health. 


SEE HOUSE, NO. 2070 OF 2009-2010.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



In the Year Two Thousand Eleven



An Act relative to prescription drug waste.


              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

              SECTION 1. Chapter 111 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 25I, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

              Section 25I.  The department, in conjunction with the board of registration in pharmacy and the division of medical assistance, shall establish and implement methods to reduce medication waste in facilities licensed by the departments of public health, mental health and corrections. The department shall establish such methods, based on its review, that are determined to be effective in reducing waste without imposing unreasonable costs on the health care delivery system. Such methods may be based on, but not be limited to, the following: (1) current technology, standards and reimbursement mechanisms for dispensing and distributing medications to facilities; (2) other states' requirements for limiting prescription drug waste and any cost savings realized; (3) the commonwealth's standards for the return and re-dispensing of patient-specific schedule VI prescription drugs; and (4) possible incentive mechanisms to prevent the creation of prescription drug waste. The department shall promulgate regulations to implement this section.

              SECTION 2.  The fifth paragraph of section 70E of said chapter 111, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following subsection:-

              (p) to obtain from the facility in charge of the patient’s care, upon discharge, any bulk medications that were prescribed for the patient during the patient’s stay including, but not limited to, aerosol inhalers, topical products such as creams and powders eye drops, insulins and special order items, provided that any such items are patient specific and personal and would not otherwise be used in the treatment of another patient.  Upon discharge from the hospital, these bulk items shall be considered the personal property of the patient and at the prescribing physician’s discretion may include in discharge orders that the patient be provided with the specific bulk products that were used in the hospital with use directions.  The department shall promulgate regulations to implement this section.

              SECTION 3.  The department of public health, in consultation with the board of registration in pharmacy shall, as  shall provide to the joint committee on health care financing and the joint committee on public health, on or before  April 1, 2012 a report and legislative recommendations relative to issues of implementation of  the programs established under subsection p of section 70E of chapter 111 and section 25I of chapter 111, including, but not limited to: savings and costs related to the implementation of the programs established and recommendations related to penalties for violations of subsection p of section 70E of chapter 111 and section 25I of chapter 111. 

              SECTION 4.  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the department of public health, in consultation with the department of environmental protection, shall make an investigation and study regarding the issue of pharmaceutical drug waste and its effect on the environment in the Commonwealth.  The department shall report on the following: (1) the estimated quantity of pharmaceutical drug waste in the Commonwealth; (2) the quantity of such waste that may be recovered prior to disposal; (3) the methods and techniques used in other states or local governments to reduce the amount of pharmaceutical drug waste, and identify model programs used to recover or recycle such waste; and (4) the efforts of pharmaceutical drug industry to mitigate waste through consumer support or take-back programs.  The department shall make recommendations, consistent with its report, regarding: (1) the feasibility of expanding a drug recycling program similar to that prescribed in section 25I of chapter 111 to all consumers; (2) the feasibility of adopting similar programs adopted by other states or local governments to reduce drug waste; and (3) the feasibility of the department assisting municipal governments to establish local programs to reduce such waste.  The department shall make its report and recommendations together with legislation to implement those recommendations by filing the same with the clerks of the senate and house not later than July 31, 2012.

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